Conformity In The Matrix

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Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, in “The Culture Industry as Mass Deception,” conclude that mass culture in the United States is identical and unoriginal “under monopoly capitalism” (Adorno, Horkheimer 1242). The Matrix (1999), directed by the Wachowski siblings, is about a group of enlightened outsiders who wage a war against the machines in control of human beings, who are subdued and experiencing a false reality through a simulation called the Matrix. In this paper, I will describe how the film, while seemingly original in its concept of questioning reality and rejecting conformity, ultimately succumbs to the cliches and stylizations of mass culture/media, failing to break from the formula Adorno and Horkheimer criticize. One of the most important points Adorno and Horkheimer make is how mass media, especially films, lacks originality through the use of formulas. The use of cliches in The Matrix is plentiful. It’s essentially the story of a messed up world/society whose fate is in the hands of a motley crew of rebels, specifically counting on one person (normally a man) to lead and save them all. The man, initially skeptical of his abilities to lead and carry such a burden on his shoulders, eventually succeeds, saving the day and getting the girl; because the (in this case, awkward) romance subplot is vital to the formula, however unnecessary it may be to the story as a whole. Is it even really a male-lead action movie if there isn’t a blatant display of the protagonist’s hetereosexuality?…show more content…
Neo is contacted by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), a beautiful stranger who leads him into an underworld where he meets Morpheus. They fight a brutal battle for their lives against a cadre of viciously intelligent secret agents. It is a truth that could cost Neo something more precious than his
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